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Feinberg School of Medicine Researchers

Feinberg School of Medicine

August 28, 2012

Eugene Sunshine
Senior Vice President of Business and Finance, Northwestern University
Rebecca Crown Center
633 Clark Street
Evanston, IL 60208

Dear Mr. Sunshine,

We write to share with you the view of some leading scientists at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine on the proposed addition to our current medical research facility.

The current plans to add onto the existing Lurie Medical Research Center would create physically continuous floors that enable a natural and seamless flow between the two research facilities, something that is needed for Northwestern University’s research program to grow and increase its success. This contiguous space will enable medical researchers and students to benefit from the natural interactions that occur when they occupy a shared physical space. This will certainly lead to more effective collaborations and foster more innovation and creativity.

Efficiency of the research would also be greatly enhanced by the integration of the new building with the Lurie Research Center. One example of this is the ability to share sophisticated and extremely expensive instrumentation. If the buildings were not connected, expensive instruments would need to be duplicated, wasting precious research dollars that should go directly into developing cures. Similarly, the Prentice site allows desperately needed expansion of our underground model-species unit as an integrated single facility.

Increasingly biomedical research is an interdisciplinary endeavor with different types of researchers needing to collaborate together to solve difficult and complex problems. Investigators do not collaborate efficiently when they are not physically adjacent.

Our research often involves chemicals, radioactive materials and temperature-sensitive materials such as living cells which do not travel well between buildings but will tolerate short trips within a fully connected complex such as we are planning. This is both an efficiency and a safety issue.

The adjacency of the Prentice site also means the new building can share utility access, efficiency in mechanicals, and emergency power more effectively.

The new research facility will make Northwestern a destination for the best faculty and the brightest students. The planned state-of-the-art building will increase our competitiveness for federal research grants and expand Chicago’s leadership in biomedical research—enabling new cures and improving the health of our community.

In conclusion, as federally funded biomedical researchers, we believe there are compelling reasons that our new research building should be adjacent and integrated into the Lurie Medical Research Center.

We are hopeful that the city of Chicago will allow Northwestern to create a new state-of-the-art biomedical research facility on the site of the abandoned Prentice hospital. The future of our research and our rate of success depends on it.

The undersigned are leading biomedical researchers at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Michael Abecassis, MD
Professor of Surgery

Wayne F. Anderson, PhD
Director, Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases, Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry

David Cella, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Medical Social Sciences

Rex L. Chisholm, PhD
Adam and Richard T. Lind Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology

Andrea Dunaif, MD
Charles F. Kettering Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine

Robert D. Goldman, PhD
Steven Walter Ranson Professor and Chair, Cell and Molecular Biology

Kathleen J. Green, PhD
Joseph L. Mayberry Professor, Departments of Pathology and Dermatology

Philip Greenland, MD
Harry W. Dingman Professor, Departments of Preventive Medicine and Medicine

Tom Hope, PhD
Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology

Richard M. Longnecker, PhD
Dan and Bertha Spear Professor, Microbiology and Immunology

Mary McGrae McDermott, MD
Professor of Medicine

Lee E. Miller, PhD
Edgar C. Stuntz Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience, Departments of Physiology, Physical Medicine and Rehab, and Biomedical Engineering

Stephen D. Miller, PhD
Judy Gugenheim Research Professor

Milan Mrksich, PhD
Henry Wade Rogers Professor, Departments of Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering

William A. Muller, MD, PhD
Magerstadt Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology

Steven T. Rosen, MD
Genevieve Teuton Professor of Medicine, Director Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University

Dalton James Surmeier, PhD
Nathan Smith David Professor and Chair, Deptartment of Physiology

Lauren S. Wakschlag, PhD
Professor and Vice Chair for Scientific and Faculty Development, Department of Medical Social Sciences

Teresa Woodruff, PhD
The Watkins Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology